August: Osage County, starring (from left) Meryl Streep, Ewan McGregor and Julia Roberts, is nominated for two awards in the upcoming Golden Globes.
Golden Globes organisers seek to stop film nominations being referred to as ‘wins’.
AS the Oscars hype machine steps up a gear to culminate in March’s Academy Awards ceremony, adverts have begun to appear in trade magazines celebrating the achievements of contenders for this month’s Golden Globes.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), which operates these awards to be awarded on Jan 12, has said it will look unkindly on instances of movies being referred to as “winners” of nominations.
“We have recently seen several instances in which the word ‘winner’ was used too prominently in publicity and advertising to describe nominees,” Theo Kingma, the HFPA president, warned in a letter to studios.
“While earning a nomination is certainly an honour and one to be celebrated, it is not a ‘win’ and using that term or terms similar to it is likely to mislead the public and diminish the excitement around the awards show, when the winners will be revealed.”
Publicity for a number of prominent Oscars contenders has recently used a format in which the word “winner” appears in large text above the number of Golden Globe nominations received by the film. Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave, the Meryl Streep drama August: Osage County, Stephen Frears’s Philomena and Justin Chadwick’s Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom have all been named as transgressors by the Hollywood Reporter, though there is no suggestion of any wrongdoing by any of the studios involved.
The HFPA has not previously targeted the practice, which was banned by the Oscars body, the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, several years ago.
The move is being seen as the latest endeavour by the HFPA to improve its image after years of criticism over lists of nominees that seemed geared towards attracting high-profile Hollywood stars to its annual ceremony.
In other awards-season news, an embarrassing video has emerged of Leonardo DiCaprio extolling the public-speaking skills of Jordan Belfort, the financial fraudster he portrays in controversial Oscar-tipped Martin Scorsese drama The Wolf Of Wall Street.
The testimonial was made some time ago, but has re-emerged into the public consciousness following DiCaprio’s flurry of recent interviews denouncing Belfort’s activities at discredited 1990s Long Island brokerage Stratton Oakmont.
Scorsese and DiCaprio’s three-hour black comedy of excess and betrayal has received considerable praise, though the film-makers’ adoption of Belfort’s story has proven controversial.
The daughter of a man linked to the discredited financial schemes depicted in the film recently attacked Scorsese and DiCaprio for glamorising a lifestyle of “fun sexcapades and coke binges”, while director and star found themselves heckled at a screening last month amid suggestions that their movie was not going down well with older, conservative Oscars voters.
The pair have faced criticism, too, from an animal rights group – which has called for a boycott over the use of a live chimp in one of the film’s scenes of excess.
DiCaprio, who was a hands-on producer on The Wolf Of Wall Street and could be in line for an Oscars nod if the film can overcome the furore surrounding it, last week spoke out to insist that he and Scorsese were not “condoning the behaviour” of Belfort and his former cronies.
The testimonial video is being seen as an example of the dirty tactics that often emerge during awards seasons as rival studios flag up their own movies and vie to discredit rival productions. – Guardian News & Media